The Little Rock School District Saga

On January 28, 2015, the Arkansas State Board of Education voted 5-4 to take over the Little Rock School District, at least in part due to the academic distress classification of six (6) of the district’s 48 schools. The State Board disbanded the district’s community-elected school board, and weeks later, the district’s superintendent, Dexter Suggs, …

Goodbye to Arne Duncan

Late last week, Arne Duncan announced that he would resign as Education Secretary in December of this year. Duncan’s reign as Secretary has been anything but quiet, as he’s drawn significant criticism during his tenure for leading an active agenda for the Department of Education. In Duncan’s first year on the job, his department received …

The Future of Student Assessments in Arkansas

It’s no secret that the Common Core State Standards are controversial, both here and throughout the country. I still don’t fully understand why, and I highly suspect much of it is political, but regardless, a controversy exists. In March, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he had appointed individuals to serve on the Governor’s Council on Common …

Legislative Update

Just a few education bills filed recently that have caught my attention: SB176: This bill proposes to modify the qualifications required for the Commissioner of Education. Currently, the Commissioner is required to hold at least a Master’s Degree and have ten years experience as a teacher, with five of those years being in an administrative …

Legislative Update

One full week of the 2015 General Session is behind us, and surprisingly, there haven’t been many education bills filed that have caught my attention. The most notable bill filed, HB1077, would allow public college and university staff members to carry concealed handguns on campus. If you recall, guns on college campuses was a hot …

Coming Soon: 2015 Regular Session

It’s been a while since I last posted. The holidays and a new baby girl at home have kept me a bit busy over the last few weeks. However, I’m now back in the swing of things and plan to start posting regularly again over the next few weeks. The 2015 Regular Session of the …

Arkansas Schools to Receive Letter Grades

Yesterday, the Arkansas State Board of Education voted to adopt a letter-grade school rating system for every public school in the state. Beginning this school year, the Arkansas Department of Education will rate each school with a letter grade, A through F, as part of the school’s annual performance reports that are compiled and distributed …

Teacher Evaluations and Student Growth

The new school year marks the first year of full implementation of the state’s new Teacher Excellence and Support System, a state-wide, mandatory teacher evaluation system intended to standardize comprehensive teacher evaluations and support. School districts piloted the program last year, but this will be the first year of mandatory implementation, as well as the …